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Sony Xperia C Review

Sony Xperia C

Posted: , by Chris P.



Interface and functionality

As with any Xperia phone, you're looking at a Sony skin on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. We're usually not very fond of manufacturer customizations, though Sony's take is actually one of the better. It's minimal, onto the point and considerably lighter on the hardware than some rival solutions. There's no perceptible slowing down when navigating the UI and the phone feels buttery smooth for the most part.

The notification and multitask menus are also well-made. The former offers access to a few quick toggles like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sound profiles, and best of all: easy and quick switching between your two SIM cards. Turning to the the multitask menu, you have a bird's view of all the apps running in the background, along with quick access to what Sony is calling 'small apps'. These work exactly as advertised – they allow you to open a scalable, miniature version of an app that won't take over your entire screen. These can, in some scenarios, help your productivity.

Overall, the Android experience on the Xperia C is definitely to our taste, and we actually like finer touches, such as the extensive choice of color themes, the built-in TrackID song recognition feature and so forth.

Dual SIM

The dual-SIM capabilities of the Xperia C exhibit some of the typical limitations. For starters, the silicon inside only allows for dual-standby, so you'll be offline on your secondary SIM card during ongoing calls. Sony has actually tried to do something about this unpleasant problem, yet the best they can do is offer to forward the calls to your other SIM card when you're unreachable, which usually means extra expenses with your carrier. Before we move on, it's important that you also keep in mind that while the first slot offers 3G speeds of up to 42.2Mbps, you're stuck with 2G GSM connectivity on the second.

Processor and memory

The Xperia C is touted as a sub-$300 device, so you can imagine that shortcuts were taken. One such is the appropriation of a MediaTek chipset, instead of taking a pick from Qualcomm's selection. Fortunately for all involved, the 1.2GHz quad-core MT6589 chip inside actually does a decent job, for the most part, especially since it only has to move so many pixels. This is not the most potent quad-core MTK chip, and it belongs to the now older 2012 crop of SoCs. Put plainly, this is not a gamer's rig, as the PowerVR SGX544 GPU is only clocked at 286MHz, meaning that mid-tier and above gaming titles will put a tad too much pressure on the hardware. More explicitly, games like NOVA 3 will lag, and even Minion Rush was a bumpy ride.

Unfortunately, it's not champagne and roses in the memory department, either. The RAM memory is acceptable at 1GB, but the 2GB of leftover native storage leaves little room for anything beyond calls and surfing. In fact, in order to actually download a medium-sized game like Minion Rush, we had to first go through our media storage for a sweep. All in all, this simply leaves you no choice but to invest into a microSD card and make use of that slot at the back. Luckily for you, Sony has delivered, and the feature to install apps onto your SD card is present.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
Sony Xperia C 4914
OPPO R819 4962
HTC Desire 601 6092
Higher is better
Sony Xperia C 13851
OPPO R819 14348
HTC Desire 601 15520
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia C 468
OPPO R819 499
HTC Desire 601 578
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Sony Xperia C 1563
OPPO R819 1431
HTC Desire 601 2289
View all

Internet and connectivity

Chrome is what you get out of the box with this budget Sony device, and the surfing experience is pretty decent overall. As we like to point out, even the lower-end crop of MediaTek chips gets away with an okay-ish browsing experience, mostly thanks to the fact that objects and texts are not fully rendered unless you zoom in. The quad-core chip humming underneath the screen ensures that both scrolling and zooming are responsive enough for even the more exacting folks, so no complaints there.

But browsing is hardly all there is to a smartphone nowadays, and to that end we're glad to see that the Sony Xperia C is a wonderfully connected device. It offers Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, (a well-working) A-GPS and Wi-Fi Direct.

  • Options

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 09:28 2

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Very nice phone for a budget!

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 09:39 2

2. itsjustJOH (Posts: 232; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)

A very reasonable review and score, finally?

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 10:00 1

3. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)

Reasonable review and score.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 10:02

4. shuvo1528 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)

I am a big fan of "Phone Arena".And i am eagerly waiting for your review about sony xperia c.Thanks phone arena

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 17:36 1

9. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)

Well your wish has come true my brother..

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 11:24

5. shuvo1528 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)

where is your video review? I am waiting for this.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 03:16

12. Chris.P (Posts: 567; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

On it as I write this.


posted on 11 Dec 2013, 12:09

6. avin007 (Posts: 139; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)

When is galaxy grand 2 review coming??

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 13:06

7. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)

The score is a little higher than id thought it'd be. I guess its not that bad, its just that are much better budget phones.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 14:18

8. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

hmm i must have gone on phonearena not iPhone arena cuz a sony phone got a good score!! either way this is a very respectable phone for its class

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 17:39

10. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)

Not bad score actually...because look at other budget phones out there,not including Nokia and Sony,they sucks like hell...
Respect Nokia and Sony!!!^_^

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 00:37

11. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Nice review Chris and good score.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 07:07

13. Remmy (Posts: 147; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

Way better than ZR's unreasonable score. Considering it's a lower-midrange phone :/

posted on 25 Dec 2013, 02:05

14. JoannaBarstow (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Dec 2013)

Xperia Z phone, This phone is sold as a waterproof phone, beware, I put this phone when it was hot into cold water to show a friend that it is waterproof. This caused a single crack on the screen, the phone is one month old, when I complained , I found out that this was not covered by warranty. Very disappointed.

posted on 09 Sep 2014, 07:04

15. amolk (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Sep 2014)

the worst phone i ever used. having manufacture defect sim slot not working since first day.. not even gud service by sony

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Sony Xperia C

Sony Xperia C

OS: Android 4.2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (220 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
MediaTek, Quad-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
Size5.57 x 2.92 x 0.35 inches
(141.5 x 74.15 x 8.88 mm)
5.40 oz  (153 g)
Battery2390 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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